Friday, October 22, 2021

Re: Amazon Staten Island Warehouse Workers in Push to Unionize [feedly]

NYT and WaPo have more relevant details in their stories. The NYTimes article about it is unsurprisingly full of good detail. Most interesting bit from it for me is that they intend to file with precisely 30% of signed cards, the bare minimum necessary to trigger an election but also that they don't yet have that 30%, they just expect to have it by next week. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/21/technology/amazon-workers-union-staten-island.html The Washington Post also has a good article with some choice quotes. https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/10/21/amazon-union-vote-staten-island/

Our understanding is that Chris Smalls was being advised early on by United For Respect which, during their OUR Walmart campaign, focused heavily on media narratives using individual workers as spokespeople and then using their frequent tragic firing to generate even more outraged media coverage. Since then he has found other allies and advice and I can't speak to their current theory of power aside from what has been publicly reported.

-Howard

Capitalismus delendus est.


On Thu, Oct 21, 2021 at 10:11 AM Eda diBiccari <ekdib@sbcglobal.net> wrote:
They filed with just 30% ("more than 2000"/7K), why?  To get an voter list? Or do they think they can gain that much in the middle of Amazon's ramped up union busting campaign?

On Thursday, October 21, 2021, 06:55:50 AM EDT, John Case <jcase4218@gmail.com> wrote:


Amazon Staten Island Warehouse Workers in Push to Unionize
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-10-21/amazon-warehouse-workers-in-staten-island-push-to-unionize

text only:

More than two thousand workers at four Amazon.com Inc. facilities in Staten Island have signed a petition asking federal labor officials to greenlight an election to form a new union, the latest spasm of labor strife between the e-commerce giant and its large blue-collar workforce.

The newly formed Amazon Labor Union must submit signatures from 30% of the workers to meet federal requirements. The facilities on Staten Island employ approximately 7,000 people. The National Labor Relations Board will determine whether the organizers have met the threshold to hold an election.

"We intend to fight for higher wages, job security, safer working conditions, more paid time off, better medical leave options and longer breaks," the Amazon Labor Union said Thursday in a statement.

The group's president, Christian Smalls, worked for Amazon for 4 1/2 years and was fired in 2020 after participating in demonstrations protesting the company's Covid-19 policies. Smalls alleged his firing was retaliatory, but Amazon said he violated safety guidelines.

The ALU has been organizing for the past six months, hosting barbeques and handing out water near Amazon warehouses in the New York borough. Organizers say Amazon has already been employing "union-busting" tactics to create doubt in workers' minds about the benefits of membership.



Amazon workers at a fulfillment center in Bessemer, Alabama, voted not to join a union in April. But the results were challenged, and a federal official recommended that the labor board hold a fresh election. The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, which led that campaign, alleged Amazon influenced the election by intimidating workers and pressuring them to cast votes in a mailbox the company had installed on its property in view of security cameras. Amazon denied any wrongdoing.

The Teamsters, whose members include delivery drivers for United Parcel Service Inc., are trying to organize Amazon warehouse workers in Canada.

The organizers of the union effort on Staten Island are bracing for pushback from the company. The first battle could come over which employees qualify for union representation, a classic tactic by employers looking to quash union elections.  


The pandemic put a spotlight on the plight of so-called essential workers, including those in Amazon's logistics and delivery operations, whose labor helped many people reduce their exposure by having goods delivered to their homes. Growing public support for such workers has helped revive the hopes of U.S. laborSome Amazon warehouse workers in Europe belong to unions, but the company's vast logistics workforce in the U.S. isn't unionized. Amazon says its warehouse workers earn at least $15 hour -- a point it repeatedly hammered in Bessemer, where such wages go a lot further than they do in New York. However, union members working in transportation and warehousing earned 34% more than non-union workers in 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


 -- via my feedly newsfeed

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